Located in the urban core, Lower.com Field is situated on more than 33 acres adjacent to downtown Columbus and near The Ohio State University. The team’s ownership group recognized that its construction presented an opportunity to build a neighborhood.
“This sports story becomes an economic development story,” said Josh Glessing, vice president of strategy for Haslam Sports Group.
More than seven event spaces, including the Nordecke beer garden, the pub and the extra-wide concourse, are available for non-gameday use. Beyond its purpose as a community connection point, though, Lower.com Field is the anchor for development of Astor Park, a new community being created on 13 acres of the Lower.com Field site. The ambitious effort includes a mix of high-density, multi-family housing, offices, retail, curated art and a new, 2.5-acre riverfront city park.
The park, on the east bank of the Olentangy River, will connect Astor Park to the west side of the river via a new pedestrian bridge, giving locals and visitors direct access to the Olentangy Trail and the Central Ohio Greenway network.
“Ancillary development is the norm, representing one of the most fundamental trends in sports,” said Ryan Gedney, HNTB design director. “As sports designers, we have to think about venues at a district level, every time. It changes your mindset in how you think of the stadium being a good neighbor.”
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